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Hawkins Division 2 - Christchurch Victorious in Final
There was a couple of minutes left in the Hawkins Division 2 final at Christchurch Park recently and, as is his custom, the home coach Chris Hammett left the club balcony to get closer to the sideline. His side was ahead 16-14 against Lincoln University and on attack. What could possibly go wrong?
By the time Chris had made it to the sideline, Lincoln University had moved back in to the Christchurch half. Then potential disaster. The home half-back thought that the ball had deflected and that he was onside. It hadn't and so when he touched it he was off-side. The visitors were awarded a penalty. "My heart was in my mouth," Chris reflects. "In fact it was pounding." The penalty missed though and Christchurch had won to add the Hawkins Trophy to the add to the Hawkins Cup.
"It (the Hawkins Trophy win) was three years in the making," Chris says. "We have a core of guys who have been with us over that time, while the younger guys coming in, from the Colts largely, have really added to our mix."
"It was a wonderful feeling sitting in the changing-room after the game reflecting on the fact that we had got the job done. It was an incredibly satisfying moment for us all."
Chris, who has coached this side for eight seasons, says that the win was even more satisfying given the quality of the competition in recent years. "The rugby in this grade continues to get stronger each season and so winning both the Hawkins Cup and Hawkins Trophy this year is very special."
Chris says that after the controversy in recent weeks, he pays tribute to both the Christchurch club and the Canterbury Union for the way finals day was managed. While he has tasted plenty of success as a player as well as a coach, Chris says that winning titles is "probably more emotional when you are playing but more rewarding when you are coaching."
Chris is standing-down as coach of Christchurch's Division 2 side. He says he would like to coach in Division 1 at some stage, although he is unsure when opportunities might arise.
As he's the Club Captain at Christchurch, Chris says that he is at the moment enjoying basking in the club's outstanding record in senior competitions this season. "It's certainly been a memorable year to remember for the club as a whole."
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